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State of Wonder

by Ann Patchett

Tropical heat, deadly insects, a charismatic leader, self-discovery: no, it's not Conrad! The ethics of scientific research and ethnobiology are explored against this rich background. Fully-fleshed characters and a thrilling plot ensure you read as feverishly as if you were in the Amazonian jungle.

Extract

In a matter of minutes the nameless river narrowed and the green dropped behind them like a curtain and the Negro was lost. Marina had thought that the important line that was crossed was between the dock and the boat, the land and the water. She had thought the water was the line where civilization fell away. But as they glided between two thick walls of breathing vegetation she realized she was in another world entirely, and that she would see civilization drop away again and again before they reached their final destination. All Marina could see was green. The sky, the water, the bark of the trees: everything that wasn't green became green.

Parallels

Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys
 

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